female friends taking a craft class together and laughing

Do you ever feel like you’re in a funk, or like life is just too stressful?

Everyone has days when they need an extra boost of happiness. But don’t worry — the best way to lift your spirits and reduce stress may already be right at your fingertips.

We’ve rounded up some hobbies that can not only raise your mood but help improve physical and mental well-being as well.

So why not give yourself permission to take a break from the daily grind and try out one of these top 6 hobbies? 

Hobbies That Reduce Stress

man playing a guitar accompanied by woman on piano while both laugh

1. Playing music

Playing music can be a great way to increase your mood and reduce stress. Music has been found to activate multiple areas of the brain, including those that are linked to emotion and memory.

Studies have also shown that playing an instrument or singing can lead to higher levels of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins and dopamine. Plus, making music is just plain fun!

Whether you want to learn how to play a few chords on the guitar, master the piano, or join a band — it’s never too late to get started with music.

You can visit the My Music Teachers Online website and search for music lessons near you, or even find a virtual instructor. It’s an excellent way to practice your skills and stay connected with the music community.

2. Writing

Writing is another great hobby for improving your mental health and reducing stress levels. Taking time out of your day to express yourself creatively can help clear away mental clutter and make room for fresh ideas.

Whether you write a journal, short stories, or poetry — the act of putting your thoughts into words can be incredibly cathartic and give you a sense of accomplishment.

If you’re looking for some extra support in developing your writing skills, there are countless online courses available to help hone your craft. 


Reading is an excellent way to improve your mood and reduce stress. A good book, whether a novel, self-help book, or comic book, can help you escape the stresses of everyday life.

Our brains shift their focus from our worries to the story or characters we are reading about when we read, which can help us relax and reduce our stress levels. Comic books, for example, are a great source of stress relief due to their visual and often humorous nature.

The bright colors and lively illustrations can provide a sense of joy and excitement, which can lift your mood and make you feel better.

They are accessible through an online comic book store or a local store, making them available for anyone to enjoy. So, the next time you need a break from the daily grind, consider picking up a comic book and escaping into a world of adventure and imagination.

3. Gardening

Gardening is another beneficial hobby for both physical and mental health. Not only does it provide an opportunity to get outdoors and take in some fresh air, but gardening has also been linked to improved moods and reduced levels of stress.

Research conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society found that people who gardened for 30 minutes per week reported feeling more connected to nature, with fewer feelings of loneliness and depression.

You don’t necessarily need a large garden either — even if you just have a balcony or small windowsill, there are lots of plants that can be grown in smaller spaces.

4. Photography

Photography is great for exploring the world around you and permitting yourself to view it from a different perspective. It’s also excellent for developing creative skills and enhancing your memory as well.

Studies show that taking photos can help improve overall well-being, including relieving stress and elevating moods.

Best of all, photography doesn’t require much equipment to get started — most modern smartphones can take good quality pictures so you could easily delve into this hobby right away! 

5. Cooking 

Cooking is not only an enjoyable hobby, but it can also have a positive effect on your mental health. Preparing and eating food is an essential part of life, so why not make it something to look forward to?

There has been researching showing that cooking can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Plus, with all the delicious recipes available online, you’ll never be short of ideas for new dishes to try. 

6. Crafting 

Crafting is another great way to improve your mood and reduce stress. Whether you choose to knit, paint, or build something out of wood — taking the time to create something with your own hands can give you a sense of purpose as well as accomplishment.

The act of creating also gives you a chance to practice mindfulness, which is a helpful tool for managing stress. Crafting can be done individually or with friends — so why not gather the gang and make it a social activity? 

Why are hobbies good for your mental health? 

Hobbies can be great for improving mental health and reducing stress levels. They provide a much-needed outlet to express ourselves creatively and take our minds off of everyday worries.

Taking up a hobby can also make us more mindful by helping us focus on the present moment, rather than worrying about what might happen in the future.

Research has found that hobbies can help increase mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins and dopamine, as well as reduce cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. 

These are just some of the many hobbies you could try that can boost your mood and reduce stress.

With so many options available, there’s something for everyone! So take some time to explore what works best for you and add a little more enjoyment to your life. Good luck!

365 Days of Gratitude